Keep your shine -Guide to a good Harley Detailing
Most new bikes have a Base Coat, Clear Coat finish, where the Paint is applied on primer and then finished with a clear topcoat. For a very nice look, and great shine, superior protection for a
Anything that touches your bike’s paint, has the probability to scratch it. Most people wash their bikes and dry it with a towel. Even this process over time takes it’s toll on your paint finish. Over time your paint will show these scratches mostly along areas you wipe with a towel or wipe off dust. Remember, dirt and water make mud! Properly washing you bike is the first step in a good detail job. Microfiber wash mitt and microfiber towels that are clean, are the only thing that should touch your paint, they will scratch less and over time look better than any other towel you could use.
GOOD HARLEY DETAILING JOB
Dull paint is due to a bunch of small scratches in a area, an extreme example of this is a Flag or a Zipper pull that flaps in the wind and rubs on your paint will leave a dull spot, or a bungee or nylon strap that rubs an area as well could damage the finish and appear dull. This can be buffed out with a polishing compound and a microfiber towel or better a buffer, the best would be a Random Orbital Buffer and the stages of compounds from a Cut and Buff compound to a wax. I use a series of compounds we use at the shop, from S100 and Griot’s Garage. Hot Rod guys and Corvette owners know what they are talking about when it comes to paint finish.
Major Scratch Repair depends on what level the scratch has gone down to and whether it has gone to the metal or just the clear. If you can see the Primer, you must add some color, and clear, and sand and buff to make the level of the surface even. This would employ a number of techniques and not recommended for most people, most people would end up making it a lot worse than it was before. I have done some pretty amazing things with the Harley touch-up kit and some 1500 grit paper and some time.
Step 1. Soak bugs, loosen mud etc. Water only. Then simple green in areas needed (greasy, oil etc.) S100 makes a good cleaner also.
Step 2. Soapy Hot Water, use Microfiber mitt or towel and lightly wash dirt away, if it needs another soak and soap, OK, no hard scrub, or greenie pads on the paint. S100 or even Ivory soap.
Step 3. Rinse thoroughly…I mean it. More water please. Less soap.
Step 4. Dry. We use a blow dryer at the shop, or let it drip dry before you use microfiber towels. If you find any dirt or area of grease or oil, degrease and wash again. Your towel just spreads it around if it gets on there. Really wash again!
Step 5. Polish Chrome. Chrome polish can bring a luster and wax can leave a little protection.
Step 6. Buff Paint. This includes a lot of steps in itself as mentioned earlier and a high gloss finish depends on all the steps and use of quality products. Opinions are like… you know… and everyone has one (About Products and their use.) Leave a nice wax at the end to shine your work.
Step 7. Clean lexan, Use leather /Vinyl care. Tip: Add product to your seat off the bike, then buff, then put seat back on. Novus polish for lexan.
Step 8. Admire and have a cold one. Tip: a Heavy bottom glass in the Freezer, keeps your drink cold without melting ice watering it down.
Any of these steps need products you can get readily available at Mt Baker Harley, of course. As discussed, the buffing and polishing is subjective to what you know how to do and what you want to accomplish. If in doubt, leave it to a pro. A pro will mask the areas and not damage your bike. Your bike cost a lot of money, so maybe a once a year or two professional detail, with a nice cut and buff polish is the way to go.
I am a firm believer that a clean polished bike is a happy bike and runs better and has less problems and will get you home every time. I even think it’s faster…Can I get an Amen! Harley Detailing